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Northmead Junior School

Northmead Junior School

Learning to Learn; Parents


  • Demonstrate/model sticking at things even if they are difficult
  • Encourage your child to have an interest in solving puzzles – word searches, crosswords, sudoku, riddles;
  • Involve them in your own learning activities, try to think aloud as you try a new recipe or struggle with a bit of DIY
  • Talk about how you feel when you are taking on challenges
  • Praise your child when they persevere….but also encourage them to take a break when they have had enough
  • Don’t rush to protect them too soon from difficulty. Do just enough to get them going again when stuck for example don’t finish the jigsaw puzzle yourself
  • Help them to find interests and activities that are really absorbing
  • Play Kim’s Game – show a tray of objects, cover it, remove an object and then reshow it. What is missing?;
  • Play spot-the-difference games;
  •  Encourage children to ‘spot’ things on a long journey – devise a list of things to try and spot on the journey and turn it into a game, buy ‘Eyespy books’
  • Set up a simple treasure hunt with clues or riddles;
  • Ask a child to imagine (or hold) an object. Can they describe it so that you can guess what they are thinking of?
  • Consider where your child completes their homework – is it a distraction free zone? Discuss with them what they find distracting – it may be different to you;
  •  When you are supporting reading / homework discuss how your child can work out a bit they are stuck on rather than simply giving the answer 




  • Ask them what they learnt at school, rather than what they did. Was it a success or what did they learn from the experience that will make them do better next time?
  •  Encourage them to take responsibility for preparing for school
  •  Help them to get started on a task by planning what they need to do first
  •  Encourage flexibility and the ability to change plan if necessary
  • Delve deeper into why your child likes a particular activity and encourage them to talk about their feelings.
  • Write down plans, lists and bullet points together in preparation for an activity.
  • Let your child make mistakes and tell them that it is ok to do so as long as lessons are learned from the experience.
  • Talk to your child about learning styles….are they a visual learner or a kinaesthetic learner? Maybe they are a auditory learner. Research these together on the internet .



  • Encourage your child to be organised – make lists of things to do or things they need help with;
  • Encourage your child to think up questions (What? Where? When? How? Why? Who?). Place these on a ‘question wall’ (maybe the fridge door?) and then discuss how you are going to find out the answer;
  • Play 20 questions to guess the object;
  • Odd-one-out – Show a number of objects, photos or words and ask which is the odd-one-out and why.
  • When travelling ask questions e.g. ‘What do you think is behind that hill?’ ‘Who lives in that house?’
  • Discuss questions such as those posed in the Little Book of Thunks’ by Ian Gilbert
  • Draw and paint pictures from imagination
  • Listen to music with your child, discuss what pictures it makes in the mind
  • Play imaginative games, taking on different roles
  • Show them how to use resources such as reference books, dictionaries, the Internet
  • Join the library
  • Help them to organise any equipment or resources


  • Make expectations of turn-taking and co-operation clear
  • Playing any board games will reinforce turn taking and being aware of others’ feelings.
  • Talk and Draw— 2 players sit back to back. Person 1
  • Describes a picture and Person 2 draws what she/he hears. Compare.
  • Work, play and learn alongside your children, enabling them to pick up good habits through imitation
  • Listen to each other and extend ideas by your responses and questions
  • Undertake projects together
  •  Go out and about and explore
  • Miming games—where children need to watch carefully (Charades etc).
  • Play games where children are blind folded and have to follow instructions.
  • When reading a story, or watching TV, stop and askhow the character is feeling.
  • Have fun

Try more, learn more, achieve more!